ARE YOU WORKING? IF SO, ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS?
If you are working, according to SSA’s definition of work, you are not eligible for disability benefits. However, work has a very specific definition under SSA’s rules. Work is defined by the SSA as “substantial gainful activity.”(SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment- related workexpenses) is considered to be engaging in SGA. Under SSA’s disability provisions, a person who is engaging in SGA is not eligible for disability benefits.
SUBSTANTIAL GAINFUL ACTIVITY OR “WORK”
SGA is defines work as “doing significant physical or mental activities . . . for pay or profit. . . .” “Significant activities” are useful in the accomplishment of a job and have economic value. Work may be substantial even if it is performed on a part-time basis, or even if the individual does less, is paid less, or has less responsibility than in previous work.
Work activity by an employee is gainful if it is the kind of work usually done for pay, whether in-cash or in-kind. Activities such as self-care and household tasks are not work. Likewise, unpaid training, hobbies, and school attendance do not constitute work. Clubs and social programs are also not generally considered to be SGA.
CHART DEFINING SGA
Below, please find a chart that defines the monthly amount of money you can earn in any given year before the SGA definition applies. As you can see, there is a difference between those who are blind and those who are not blind. People who are blind can earn more money every month, but still be below SGA. Also, the SGA amount is your gross earnings per month. This means before taxes are taken out. Many people, for example, assume that their take home pay is what the SSA counts as SGA. Unfortunately, that is not correct. SGA is the full amount you make per month, including taxes or any other withholdings.
WORKING AND APPLYING FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS
Many people think they can work and get disability benefits. This is simply not true. The SSA has a specific amount of money that you can earn on a monthly basis. If you earn over that amount, you are working SGA. Therefore, you cannot receive disability benefits. Work makes you ineligible for benefits. People who are working and also claiming a disability check are committing fraud.
If you try to work and you earn under the SGA amount or your work doesn’t last more than a few months, then you can still apply for disability benefits. Some people try to work despite their severe disability. Working a few hours a week should not hurt your chances in receiving benefits. However, if you work for a longer period of time, your attorney will need to argue for the judge to apply the rules of an unsuccessful work attempt.
Most people, however, with a mental or physical disability find that they cannot work on a full-time or even a part-time basis. That is why they are applying for disability benefits. Disability benefits replace monthly income.
CANNON DISABILITY CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR CASE
At our Cannon Disability Law office, we help our clients apply for benefits. Also, we appeal SSA’s denials. If you need to apply for disability benefits, you can do so online at ssa.gov. It doesn’t matter where you live in the country, the above table applies to you. If you live in Utah, we have Utah disability information here. We also have Nevada disability information. Also, find California disability information here. The same amount of money in the above table defines SGA. This is true even if the cost of living is higher in California than Nevada.
If you have questions about work and disability benefits, then contact our office. We will answer your questions for free. Also, we offer a free consultation. If you need SSD benefits or SSI benefits, then contact Cannon Disability Law. We will help you apply for benefits or appeal an SSA denial. You can contact us by phone or by email. We can often answer your questions about working and disability benefits over the phone. Give us a call today. Let us be part of your disability team.
CANNON DISABILITY LAW’S TEAM
If you cannot work due to your disability, then Cannon Disability Law can help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits. Also, we can help you appeal an SSA denial. Additionally, we will represent you in court at your disability hearing. We will help you be a witness in your case.
If necessary, we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. Likewise, we file appeals in Federal Court. Also, we can represent you where you live. For example, we can represent you if need a disability attorney in Utah or Nevada. Additionally, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California. You can find out more about California disability benefits here.
Your ability to receive Medicaid and Medicare depends upon whether or not you are successful with your disability claim. In order to fight the SSA’s denials, you need a representative with experience. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been representing people with disabilities for over thirty years. Likewise, Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have many years of litigation experience. We have won over 20,000 disability hearings for out clients. You can trust us to do our best for you. We will do everything we can to win your SSD and SSI benefits.